Friday, October 29, 2010
From his early 20s, British conductor Daniel Harding has had the privilege of honing his considerable talent with many of the world's best orchestras. Mentored by prominent maestros Simon Rattle and Claudio Abbado, the 35-year-old musician enjoys a blue-chip career in Europe, regularly appearing as guest conductor with the Royal Concertgebouw, Berlin Philharmonic, La Scala and the Vienna Philharmonic. Yet as Mr. Harding acknowledges, life in the musical fast lane can get bumpy at times...
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Back in the spring of 2009 I saw a wonderful play in New York about Beethoven starring Jane Fonda. It was called 33 Variations, written and directed by Moisés Kaufman. It was the story of a terminally ill musicologist racing against her own mortality trying to solve the riddle why Beethoven wrote 33 variations of Anton Diabelli’s insipid little waltz when he was only commissioned to write a single one. I was inspired by the play to curate a number of Beethoven performances from his late period for the Philharmonic Society that we could explore together as an audience this question and others that arise about this curious time in his life. We are fortunate that this same production of 33 Variations will open at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles on January 30. Everyone gets a chance to see it. The Philharmonic Society will organize some special nights there. For information, call Heather in our office at 949.553.2422. Other late Beethoven attractions coming over the next couple of seasons will be a performance of the Diabelli Variations with pianist Marino Formenti; the Ninth Symphony and the Missa Solemnis with Sir John Eliot Gardiner, the Monteverdi Choir and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique; special exhibits, films and talks; and, of course the last five string quartets.
Were you at the Dresden Staatskapelle concert? Do you know the answer that will get you free tickets to the Monday, November 1, performance of the Kremerata Baltica chamber orchestra? To jog your memory, the answer to Dean's question can be found in this blog post. Here are the directions to claim your free tickets.
What you need to do:
1) E-mail the answer to Dean's question and your contact information (name, address, e-mail, and phone number) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Use subject line: Kremerata Blog Contest.
2) Bring printed confirmation letter to will-call to pick up your tickets.
3) Most importantly, ENJOY THE CONCERT!!
We will send you an e-mail confirming your tickets. One pair of tickets per household, seats chosen by best availability. Promotion runs until 3pm on Monday, November 1.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Seems like I have spent most of the summer on a plane. Flew to New Zealand under the auspices of Creative New Zealand, Air New Zealand, the Museum Hotel and WOW to view a spectacular event. WOW stands for World of WearableArt. This is an annual awards show focusing on artful garment creations from artists worldwide. It is fashion week meets Cirque du Soleil. This two-hour extravaganza is New Zealand’s greatest performing arts event. It is impossible to describe, a truly got-to-see-it-to-believe-it experience. I saw the show three times, and I have set about the task of bringing it to the United States. As Kiwis told me, it has never been off-shore, to which my response was “Do you people have any idea how far off-shore is??!” I think the show would be a tremendous hit. It has original music, fabulous staging, and entertainment for the whole family. Here are a couple of clips – one about recording the music theme and some shots of the 2008 show. The picture at the top of this post is entitled "Lady Of The Wood" and was recognized as the 2009 Winner Supreme Montana WOW Award & Winner Tourism NZ Avant Garde Section. It was submitted by David Walker of Alaska, USA.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
I am very enthused about the recent activities at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. They are thinking outside the box, more accurately, outside the hall. First there was Peter Pan in a tent, a must-see especially if you have children. While that was going on, Project Bandaloop was doing a vertical dance on the side of Segerstrom Hall to the thrill of thousands of free attendees 100 feet below. While all of this was happening, the Emerson Quartet was doing their thing in the Samueli. That’s a night of culture. This past Monday night, thousands more showed up for a free screening of the LA Opera production of Daniel Cátan’s gorgeous opera “Il Postino.” Star Tenors Placido Domingo and Charles Castronovo were on hand to greet the crowd. I missed the production in LA. Hope to see it in Paris this summer.
Saturday, October 9, 2010
We just returned from our little house in Gascony, France. Nice and quiet. We are close to the village of Trie-sur-Baȉse. I was informed quickly after mispronouncing this little town’s name, that care must be taken saying the umlauted ȉ as "bah-eez", otherwise a faux pas results. A PG-13 example would be the Parisian phrase for overnight bag baise-en-ville which literally means “make whoopi in the city”
Our French satellite dish picks up the UK stations. My favorite is the commercial classical radio station Classic FM. It is upbeat, classy and brilliant in its listener-friendly format. There is even an opportunity for kids to call in requests when they get home from school in the afternoons. We can take a lesson from them in this country. Maybe we would still have KMZT if they had modeled themselves after Classic FM. Check out their website classicfm.co.uk. Unfortunately you can’t listen to a live feed in the U.S. because of licensing issues. When in Europe, make sure you check it out.
Monday, October 4, 2010
We have a winner in our name Dean’s Blog contest. You guessed it. It is my wife Kaly. Favoritism aside, she came up with the logical one – Please Enjoy! – the valedictory of my Philharmonic Society letters. Because she gets to sit with her husband at the Vienna Philharmonic performance in March, I am happy to announce that four runner-up entries in the contest will each be offered a pair of tickets to the Thursday, March 3, 2011 performance of the Vienna Philharmonic with Semyon Bychkov conducting the Mahler Sixth. The lucky winners are:
Amy Bauer for “Orange Peal” (clever)Congratulations to the winners and thanks for nearly 70 entries.
Richard Nordrum for “sweetearful” (also clever)
Richard Stein for “Dean Beans” (everyone loved this one except me. Thought it was stupid though it was food-related.) Note: Rick Stein is a friend and colleague over at ArtsOC, so when I say "stupid," I say it with fondness and a laugh.
Catalina Quintero for “Notes in Dean Major” (both cute and delightfully cornball)